Badass Women of History: Mekatilili wa Menza

Mekatilili wa Menza was not your typical rebellion leader. Born in 1860 and a member of the Giriama tribe in present day Kenya, she was the only daughter in a poor family of five children. When she was 53, British colonization began in Kenya. The British had success in growing crops in nearby colonies and

Badass Women of History: Hazel Ying Lee

Hazel Ying Lee was the first Chinese-American woman to fly planes for the military. She was born in Portland, Oregon in 1912 to two Chinese immigrants who met and married in the US. The couple raised eight children at a time when anti-Chinese sentiment was still prevalent and the ban on Chinese immigration resulting from

Badass Women of History: Julie d’Aubigny

Like many remarkable women, Julie d’Aubigny, born in 1673, did not have a normal upbringing. Her father was secretary to the French Court’s Master of Horses. Contrary to what the name may imply, the Master of Horses was actually a pretty important guy, and being his secretary was no small job. Julie’s father’s main responsibility

Badass Women of History: Shajar Al-Durr

Shajar Al-Durr’s life didn’t have great beginnings. Born around the 1220s, she was a Turkish slave, or mamluk, who was sold as a servant/wife to the Sultan of the Ayyubid Sultanate, an area that included parts of present-day Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. Within a year, she married the Sultan, gave birth to a

Badass Women of History: Tsuruhime Ohori

Being a teenager is hard—braces, algebra homework, acne. Being a teenager during the Sengoku period, or Warring States period, which took place from 1467-1603 in Japan, was really hard—social unrest, constant military conflict, acne. Being a teenager during the Sengoku period when you were the head priestess of a shrine on an island invaded by